(CBSDFW.COM) – During a news conference Thursday, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper talked about the rescue of a woman and baby who were thrown off a raft in the Rio Grande.

According to the department, the rescue happened on March 16 in Roma and involved a 6-month-old child and her mother. Authorities said the mother had suffered a broken leg after being assaulted by smugglers.

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Trooper Woodard described what he saw and what he did to help the two to safety. He said he saw smugglers trying to bring six people across the river on a raft.

“I heard splashing and ‘ayuda, ayuda’ (Spanish for ‘help’) from a distressed woman… I climbed into a tree and see that this woman is hanging onto a tree branch with the baby in her arm… the water’s going over the baby,” the trooper said. “I got above her, kind of fell in, grabbed the baby, held the baby like a football and helped the woman onto a tree branch.”

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“I got up to the bank… I start rubbing the chest of the baby because the baby wasn’t moving at that point. Finally, seeing that the baby started moving, starting crying and handed off the baby to a ranger and helped the other five back onto the bank,” he added.

According to Texas DPS, the rescue was made by a special operations group that was helping the U.S. Border Patrol.

“This specialized group is a highly trained tactical team whose primary responsibility is to carry out specific missions, usually along the Texas-Mexico border region or wherever needed,” the department said in a Facebook post.

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The news conference on Thursday was held in Weslaco by Gov. Greg Abbott to talk about Operation Lone Star, which is an effort to combat drugs and smuggling at the U.S.-Mexico border.

CBSDFW.com Staff